#Fridaythought – the rules for being amazing

This week’s #Fridaythought is more a list and from one of my favourites – Robin Sharma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Rules for Being Amazing
by Robin Sharma

1. Risk more than is required.
2. Learn more than is normal.
3. Be strong.
4. Show courage.
5. Breathe.
6. Excel.
7. Love.
8. Lead.
9. Speak your truth.
10. Live your values.
11. Laugh.
12. Cry.
13. Innovate.
14. Simplify.
15. Adore mastery.
16. Release mediocrity.
17. Aim for genius.
18. Stay humble.
19. Be kinder than expected.
20. Deliver more than is needed.
21. Exude passion.
22. Shatter your limits.
23. Transcend your fears.
24. Inspire others by your bigness.
25. Dream big but start small.
26. Act now.
27. Don’t stop.
28. Change the world.

Singapore National Day

This week’s post is celebrating Singapore and from our MD, Asia – Kathryn Woof.

Yesterday was National Day in Singapore, my third one in the Lion City, and there are a few things I love about this yearly display of patriotism/military might/firework fandangery.

For one, weeks before the day itself, the Singapore armed forces practice the parade which they will be running on the day itself, which means fighter jets zooming past the sky scrapers, easy jokes about Top Gun being made around the city (well, maybe that’s just me actually), Chinook helicopters tugging ginormous Singapore flags through the sky out in the Singapore Straits, and a ‘practice’ fireworks display every Saturday at 8pm.

Secondly, coming from a country where our National Day is largely ignored (can any English reader say which day St George’s actually is off the top of their heads?…actually, I bet @robfanners can!) I love how the whole city state turns out dressed in red: couples, families, babies, grandparents, young, old – there are just heaps of people all around Marina Bay, there to celebrate their country’s birthday.

And what goes with that is an enormous chance to build a marketing campaign. Of course it does – it can’t be ignored! This year my favourite was Mentos who pushed the boat out to a point where the Singapore censors presumably couldn’t see it happening, and released a viral on you tube that will certainly raise a titter and an eyebrow from anyone who’s spent time here, done business here, or had the pleasure to live in this quirky little red dot.

For your viewing pleasure – the National Night video.

#Fridaythought

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self – Ernest Hemingway

#Fridaythought

Talent Management Technology – Reviews

This week is all about Talent Management Technology. I have a guest Blogger, Kyle Lagunas of Software Advice to thank for the content below. The review on WorkSimple is yours truly.

Talent management technology is evolving. Social features that drive collaboration, enable real-time feedback, and give employees (and their bosses) more visibility into what’s going on in their organization–furthering the trend towards consumerisation of workplace IT. Early adopters of these socialized talent management technologies are seeing some immediate value-adds.

Specifically, here are four ways social technologies are having a positive impact in talent management:

 

 1. Invigorated Open Door Policies

Marketing services firm Dominion Enterprises has always had an open door policy. But leadership struggled to sift through and act upon all the input they received. They needed a central platform for gathering, sharing and developing ideas.

“While we had channels for feedback and input, it was hard to get traction around ideas,” explains Susan Blake, VP of HR.

After giving UserVoice Feedback software a test run in one department, they rolled it out company-wide in March. Uservoice allows employees to submit ideas, vote on others’ ideas, and discuss them. The software had immediate impact, giving management the tools they need to give their open door policy new life–with employees from every department offering suggestions for improving products, policies and processes.

Furthermore, by showing employees that their feedback results in real changes, they’ve seen a spike in employee engagement. “To say UserVoice was a catalyst is an understatement,” says Blake.

 

 

2. Interactive Talent Directories

Gone are the employee directories of old, replaced with a strategic tool for both employees and leadership. You can still find contact info for colleagues in another department, but innovative products like Saba’s People Cloudhave offer something more akin to an interactive talent directory.

Employees can create detailed profiles–listing skills, competencies and interests (relevant to their current roles or their career goals). Colleagues can search for experts in the company, and garner attention from peers and leadership by regularly lending expertise hand or sharing articles of interest. Managers can find viable candidates internally for key hires.

 

3. Motivating Career Management

One of social talent technology’s greatest value-adds for employees is in career management functionality. Systems like UpMo–the first enterprise talent network–are offering users a unique approach to career pathing by putting employees in the driver’s seat.

With UpMo, employees grow their internal network and their skills profile simultaneously, making them more appealing candidates for opportunities in the organization. Like other social talent technologies, there’s even a bit of gamification built in, which encourages usage and makes the process more engaging. Employees can give each other shout-outs for a killer meeting (a +1 in Presenting), or thanks for explaining Cloud computing (a +1 in Cloud).

This highly social product, which launched a free version last week, brings new energy to career management by keeping employees focused on growing within their organization.

 

4. Performance, Engagement and Reward Management.

As workplaces shift from the Industrial Age 9-5 hall monitoring to something altogether more dynamic, fluid and lifestyle balanced, so do our systems need to be able to cope with keeping across Performance whilst both Engaging and fairly Recognising/Rewarding people. Social Web based systems are the solution to this and companies like WorkSimple are leading the charge. Rob Fanshawe of 33 Talent has used WorkSimple to manage ROWE (Results Only Work Environment) in his last two companies:

“There were issues of continuous changes as with any early adoption but it is a great system and one of the only truly Social and Results focused systems out there, that consider both the employee and employer in equal measure” – Rob Fanshawe

WorkSimple offers companies flexible Results focussed and Social way to cover everything from Goals and activity through to rewards and appraisals and Rob’s evaluation of the product is as follows:

  • It’s Social– this is key to any true ROWE environment as it creates the “virtual” platform  necessary for people across the organisation to interact without having to physically be with them. I found it to be properly interactive and with high visibility.
  •  Its Results focussed – in other words everything everyone does is always contributing to an end goal, whether it be share or individual, town based or country wide.
  •  Its transparent – everyone knows where everyone stands so there is no miscommunication between management and employees. Mission, Values, Goals and Results are seamlessly linked
  •  Its real time – there’s no waiting around and subjectivity. Everything you do is rolled up into something else so results and reports are instantaneous. Updates and changes are immediate. You know how you’re tracking before the report comes out!

Its involving and supports recognition – “we found it great for making sure everyone is recognised by everyone else. It’s a great system for cross team and cross level sharing and rewarding.” says Rob.

 

Social Technology Has Hurdles to Clear

While the products described above offer significant value, social technologies as applied to talent management still have room to evolve. For example: Seamless integration with other systems (e.g. simply having a single sign-on across systems could greatly boost user adoption).

“It’s a real problem if every product requires another log-in or user profile,” says Joe Fuller, CIO at Dominion. “We want single sign-on–it’s the biggest complaint.”

What do you think are the greatest opportunities for social technology to drive innovation in talent management? What hurdles are there to clear before we see widespread adoption?

 

About the Author: Kyle Lagunas is the HR Analyst at Software Advice—an online for reviewing and comparing talent management software. On the surface, it’s his job to contribute to the ongoing conversation on all things HR. Beyond that, he makes sure his audience is keeping up with important trends and hot topics in the industry. Focused on offering a fresh take on points of interest in his market, he’s not your typical HR guy.

Resigning – why you shouldn’t feel nervous

Resigning – why you shouldn’t feel nervous

Let’s face it – most people feel a bit nervous about resigning, even if they’re excited about their new job, but unless there are exceptional circumstances, it doesn’t have to be done Greg Smith style leaving bridges burned in your wake! As recruiters we go through this moment in peoples’ careers with them often, and there’s some pooled knowledge to pass on from those many experiences we’ve shared with candidates over the years.

 

It’s not personal!
Firstly, remember that your boss has resigned from roles in the past and so has nearly everyone else in the office. It’s part and parcel of work life not a direct attack or reflection on anyone, and if handled correctly, you can always leave the door open for future opportunities.
One of the first things you want to clarify before you resign are your push and pull factors.

Pull factors
If your resignation is all about pull factors – something new has come up and you simply can’t say no – then there’s nothing to say you can’t consider the company you’re leaving as an employer again in the future. In this case, write a (truthful – don’t be insincere by going overboard!) resignation letter which mentions how much you’ve enjoyed your role, how much you’ve learnt and that you’d love to stay in touch, and reiterate all of that in your resignation meeting. If they value you as much as you hope they do, they’ll love the positive feedback and will be pleased to return the compliment.

Push factors
If your resignation is all about push factors – not being happy in your current role – then you need to ask yourself how candid you want to be in your exit interview. Is it best to be diplomatic or bluntly air your grievances to influence change for the better? Consider the elements of your role that have made you unhappy, pick the most tangible aspects to feedback and deliver it in person during your exit interview. Keep your resignation note more factual and formal and state the dates for the purpose of fulfilling your notice period.

Stick to your guns!
Either way, get your reasons for moving on in order, stick to your guns and don’t fall into the classic trap of being flattered by a counter offer (more on that here). If the pull factors were strong enough to make you resign, remember that feeling of excitement and opportunity and leave the door open to return in the future. If the push factors were bad enough to make you resign…well, enough said.

We hope these words have been of some comfort to those of you dreading your resignation meeting whether it be for good, or bad reasons. It really is common to feel that way, just not necessary.

Good luck with the resignation meeting and most importantly, good luck with your new job!

What’s wrong with recruitment…and how to fix it!

What’s wrong with recruitment…and how to fix it!

This could potentially be a VERY long post because I’m talking about an industry that has many inherent flaws. In my opinion, many of the problems we see stem from some fundamental issues that recruiters have wrought upon themselves and customers unwittingly propagate.

The paying customers’ perspective

Having been a customer myself and in speaking with countless other recruitment customers, I can tell you that their complaints are very consistent.

There’re a lot of them so I’ll list out the top 10:

  1. They waste my time
  2. They lie to me
  3. They keep hassling me every 5 minutes
  4. Fees are too expensive
  5. Recruiters don’t understand my business or the role
  6. Candidates aren’t even being interviewed before they’re sent to me
  7. They’ve been looking for months and can’t find anyone
  8. Everyone they send to me are terrible
  9. Too many cold calls
  10. I’m sick of junior recruiters who have no idea

The recruiters’ perspective

There’s a pretty similar list of gripes here too:

  1. They waste my time
  2. They lie to me
  3. I have to chase them for everything and they never call me back
  4. They cancel roles and they’ve always got 5 other recruiters working the same role
  5. This role is a $150K investment and they won’t even meet with me to talk about their business or the role in detail
  6. Every time I send a candidate they’re “already on our database” or another agency has just sent them 5 minutes before me
  7. They’ve been looking for months but won’t budge on the spec or increase their budget
  8. They don’t give me any feedback on candidates I send them
  9. There’s no customer loyalty and they always step outside the PSA
  10. I’m sick of ridiculously low PSA rates

And the sad thing here is the true victim of this lack of accountability and partnership – the rather important people – the TALENT!

What’s to be done

It’s tempting to work through each of these issues one by one and talk about solutions but we’d be treating the symptoms, not the core problems.

It seems to me that most problems stem from the bounty hunter style pricing model prevalent in the market where the fee is contingent upon success. With this model the customer has nothing to lose by being non-committal and farming the role out to multiple recruiters.

To draw an analogy, this model is like giving your tax return to 5 accountants and telling them that you’ll only pay whoever gets you the quickest result. If you did that, what kind of result would you get? I bet any accountant worth their salt would turn it down instantly and if you were lucky enough to get a few to agree how would they approach the assignment? They’d rush it, they’d probably cut corners so they don’t invest too much time in case they don’t get paid. Just like you, they’d be hedging their bets.

So when we do the same thing in recruitment a few important things happen. Because we’re dealing with a number of recruiters this soaks up so much time that it’s too much effort to do a proper job brief. In fact it’s too much effort to call everyone back or respond to the CVs they’ve sent. We haven’t spent any money so it’s no skin off our nose, right? Then the follow-up calls start and we get fed up pretty quickly.

The recruiters know how the game works so they’ll make a call on where your role should sit in their priority list. Most good recruiters will successfully place between 25% to 50% of the roles they work. That means they spend their own time and money on 10 jobs but only get paid for 2.5 to 5 of them (sometimes none).

So recruiters usually look at their jobs and think “what can I definitely place?”. This is where the bulk of their time will (should!) be spent. If you’re not a top priority because you don’t return calls or you have too many recruiters working your role, or your fee is too low, or you’ve been looking for ages and you’re not paying enough money… then guess what, you get a half-hearted effort.

More importantly we’re motivating recruiters based on speed, so it’s in their best interests to try to get the best return from the least amount of effort. This encourages what we call a flick and stick, or spray and pray approach. Basically, this means playing the numbers and throwing as many CVs out to as many customers as possible knowing that the law of averages means that something will stick. The scary thing is, this is so entrenched that Recruiter’s KPIs are actually measured and rewarded based on these numbers! I hasten to add not at 33 Talent for this very reason (check out our ROWE article for more info)

 

There is a better way!

I think the solution is to throw out the contingent fee model. Instead, work with one recruiter and pay them a portion of their fee upfront. This commits both parties to getting a quality result and puts your job firmly at the top of the priority list. It means that the recruiter doesn’t have to cut corners to get you a CV before someone else snags the fee. It means recruiters can afford to take on half the number of jobs because they know they’ll get paid for all of them. It means candidates aren’t getting calls from 5 different recruiters and don’t start thinking “jeez these guys (Client X) must be desperate!”. It also usually means you’ll be able to negotiate a discount because you’ve removed some of the recruiter’s risk.

Is this risky for you? Yes it probably is, but in the context of all your recruiting over a number of years, doesn’t it make good business sense to spend time up front picking a good recruiter with good references and a strong track record? Then build a strong, exclusive relationship with them until you get to the point that they know your business better than most of your staff. If they let you down, find another agency. You might have the odd false start but over time you will get much better results and you will absolutely save money.

A common misconception

I once had a customer say “But I’m buying a product, if I like what’s on your shelf then I’ll pay, if I don’t then I won’t”. Sorry, but candidates are most definitely not sitting on a shelf waiting for your call! You’re not buying a product, you’re buying a service. You’re paying for someone to go out to market and represent your business. You’re paying for someone to search high and low, ask for referrals, network extensively and generally do whatever it takes to find you the perfect person.

Having said that, the best recruiters invest heavily in their network so they will often be able to recommend someone they’ve already met. But it’s important to recognise, you’re still paying for a service. You’re paying for someone to successfully broker and secure a long term relationship on your behalf that you can then benefit from quickly. Just because they are in the recruiters network when you ask doesn’t mean a huge amount of time (usually years) of effort hasn’t gone into making that the case

Final thoughts

If you spent $150K (on say a piece of Software) in your business, would you spend a lot of time with a vendor to make sure they really understood what you wanted? You bet! Why is a $150K candidate any different? It’s a big investment and very expensive if you get it wrong so it pays to invest the time with quality partners to make sure you get it right.

At 33 Talent we have built a new suite of models that make this transition easier for clients. One of them, for example, only requires a small proportion up front and then a reduced success fee at the other end which isn’t payable if the Talent comes from an ad as opposed to Search & Networks.  This reduces waste and risk on both sides for a win win.

There is an element of Trust required still sure, but there is in any meaningful relationship in life! Whatever your solution, Clients and Recruiters need to start partnering more and at a deeper level to make sure the ever growing disconnects that also effect the Talent (And therefore Employment Brands) start to be bridged and turned around.

If you want to discuss any of the solutions and ideation around how to make recruitment better for all concerned, please contact us at info@33talent.com or +61 (0)2 9283 6004.

Why I Love Recruiting

Why I love Recruiting

Recruiting is so often misunderstood and misinterpreted and is incredibly hard to do well. Friends, family and past co-workers have often asked me; Why do you still do it?

Well thanks to a spur on by RecruitingBlogs I have finally put it down in words, Why I Love Recruiting. Its important to share what’s to love about our job with all the negativity around, so I hope this inspires some people and demonstrates to others why it can be a great profession to be in and stick at…

Two words: ‘PEOPLE’ and ‘BUSINESS’.

PEOPLE: There is nothing that fascinates me more, never has been, never will be. My job, especially as I’m also a business leader, is 100% about people. My clients are people, my talent are people, my employees are people and my services and solutions are all people focussed.

People are intriguing, frustrating, passionate, annoying, fun, boring, clever, dumb, irrational, rational, strong, weak, single minded, pliable, emotional, passive, dominant, detailed, sloppy, fearful, fearless, intuitive, blind (not in seeing sense), knowledgeable, well read, narrow minded, interesting, aggressive, friendly, desperate, cynical, angry, happy, caring, selfish…and the list goes on.

I am responsible and accountable for making sure that within this mix I introduce the right people to each other, keep them interested as they ‘date’, manage all the delicacies of their individualisms and the process they go through and then make sure they are happy thereafter. Now to do that well is a challenge. It’s varied. It’s a journey and it has its ups and downs, highs and lows. No other job I can think of would deal with people in such a concentrated way.

BUSINESS: Other than People, here is nothing that interests me more than Business. I get to see and listen to businesses and the people that make them every day. I get to learn about what works, what doesn’t, what’s new, what’s old, issues, solutions and everything in between. I get to see them grow and develop and become all they can become. I’m privy to insights and inside thoughts from the grad to the CEO.

I am responsible for listening so I truly understand them and the people in them. I then get to introduce people into them and watch them all grow and benefit from this introduction.

Both the above can be thankless, painful, political and difficult tasks but it is satisfying in ways I cannot begin to describe (you really have to live it to understand) when it all works.

I love recruitment because I love people and their differences, and businesses and their challenges.

I love recruitment because it pays me to be involved with people in one of the most important aspects of their lives, their careers and their businesses. I get paid to do what I love. Corny, maybe, conveniently truthful – absolutely!

Do what you love. When you love your work, you become the best worker in the world.
Uri Geller